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- Released: October 12, 2004
- Label: Milestone
- 1.Close Up
- 2.I Should Care
- 3.Nippon Blue
- 5.Blues of the Moment
- 7.Prisoner of Love
Personnel: Jim Snidero (alto saxophone); Jim Snidero; Paul Gill (bass guitar); Eric Alexander (tenor saxophone); David Hazeltine (piano); Billy Drummond (drums).
Audio Mixer: David Luke.
Liner Note Author: Doug Ramsey.
Recording information: Systems Two Studios, Brooklyn, NY (05/26/2004/05/27/2004).
Photographer: John Abbott .
Arrangers: Jim Snidero; David Hazeltine.
It's been said that in the 21st century, there is no such thing as an overexposed jazz musician -- that because jazz usually sells a fraction of what rock, R&B, rap, and country sell, it is impossible to be an overexposed jazz musician. There is some truth in that argument; even heavyweights like Jackie McLean and Sonny Rollins don't expect to headline Madison Square Garden or outsell Pink, Creed, Shania Twain, or Britney Spears. But within the jazz community, some artists receive more exposure than others -- and Jim Snidero is a perfect example of someone who isn't huge in the jazz world but still has an enthusiastic group of admirers. The alto saxman has never been groundbreaking, but when it comes to delivering solid, reliable hard bop/post-bop discs, he usually comes through. Close Up does nothing to hurt his reputation; those who have admired Snidero's work in the past will be glad to know that he is in good form throughout this 2004 date, which employs David Hazeltine on piano, Paul Gill on bass, Billy Drummond on drums, and special guest Eric Alexander on tenor sax. Alexander doesn't play on all of the tracks; he is absent from three of them, including performances of the standard "I Should Care" and crooner Russ Columbo's 1931 hit "Prisoner of Love" (which was also a hit for Perry Como in 1946 and Soul Godfather James Brown in 1963). But Alexander is featured on five songs, and he enjoys a strong rapport with the leader on swinging, lively Snidero originals like "Smash" and "Blues for the Moment." The combination of Snidero's alto and Alexander's tenor is an appealing one on Close Up, which doesn't pretend to reinvent the jazz wheel but will please die-hard bop and post-bop enthusiasts. ~ Alex Henderson